Hello there, fellow gainers! My name's Reimu and I have been a Master Tier Heimerdinger enthusiast for the past 2 seasons.
Currently, I'm holding a 75% win rate on both of my Master accounts playing solo, with my low platinum boosts holding mostly roughly 95% win rate.
Let's get this sorted out right away - Heimerdinger is everything but a fair champion. His kit is overloaded, the turrets are stronger than some champions on their own and his late-game potency has close to no boundaries - and that's exactly what makes him so fun to play.
Cheeky outplays, stealing objectives and solo pushing turrets in one wave is just a scratch of the surface of what the possibilities with this champion are. Even though it may seem like Heimerdinger's a braindead champion (which, to an extent he is), he is still a champion with a very high skill ceiling, arguably the best scaling in the game and... an unbelievable amount of bugs that you'll just have to get used to.
Heimerdinger can be played in multiple roles, the ones I prefer the most are ADC and toplane because midlane has by far the most counters and requires you to move everywhere with your team, whereas in toplane you mind your own business and in botlane you just farm kills if your support has at least 2 functioning brain cells.
One thing is always the same - banning Yasuo. Yasuo should be an instant dodge because the buggy interactions with any of your spells and windwall just make the game impossible to play.
Outside of that, as adc ban Xayah, as toplane ban Kled, as midlane Syndra.
as far as I'm concerned, only real counters to you from adcs are Kalista, Tristana, and Sivir, but all 3 of them can be shut down by your support. The biggest matchup difference in botlane is both supports. Don't be scared of enemy picking Morgana - her black shield's as good as useless against your rain of terror.
If you can choose your support, definitely take Senna/Fiddlesticks/Vel'Koz unless enemy support has a Leona. Rakan's decent, but not the best for early game, where picks such as Thresh or Nautilus shine more.
S10 made people go 2 magic resist runes rushing mercs into adaptive helm against Heimerdinger. That means, after 8th minute, you officially don't deal damage to enemy laner. But worry not! Because your scaling eventually be way better than the enemy tanks, and you'll start shredding through everyone. Keep your cs counter as close to 10 per minute as possible, don't waste too much mana on poke, always ward.
Other than that, you heavily counter Darius, and most ranged mages. Don't let the enemy Renekton be in the range of his first E dash into you, that way you can bait him into bad engages. Try to avoid Kled matchups, cause that matchup is just pure luck on hitting your E or just going 0/10/0.
Syndra, Ryze, Cassiopeia, and Karthus'll make your lane dreadful by LVL 4. If your lane against them, unless they make too many mistakes, don't waste mana on poking too hard. Keep your cs up, outscale them, win team fights.
In this section, I will share with you the right ingredients that you need before going into a game :)
As of now, there is only one viable rune path that is just way better in everything than others, and that is sorcery+domination.
Although you may argue that conqueror's just too good on mages, while it is, his secondary runes are too inferior to consider it when comparing it to sorcery tree.
Comet - helps you with everything. Early pressure, late-game damage, has a low cooldown (that gets reduced by your turrets and spells so much). It also gets procced by turrets, so free 30dmg at lv1? Yes, please.
Manaflow Band - self-explanatory, your mana run out before you even hit lv3 if you don't know what you're doing. Manaflow band helps at every stage of the game, especially midgame.
Transcendence - caps your cdr.
Gathering Storm - the longer the game is, the better for you. You can snowball without a scorch, and unless the game's at ff15, you'll eventually get to the stage where this rune gives you 1k gold value.
Ghost Poro - trinket juggling is just too good to not do. This also guarantees you to get your +30ap pre-15min, which is just way too big to overlook.
Ultimate Hunter - your ult is at 32 seconds cooldown at lv16.
double AP - +18ap's 33 extra DPS from your 3 turrets combined at lv1, so this is self-explanatory.
last rune - MR if enemies have 2AP, it doesn't matter if you'll not meet them until lv11. Outside of that, go hp, since you're getting zhonyas anyway.
When you're used to playing Heimerdinger, try to take offensive/defensive runes, such as ignite (against GP/Vladimir or AD melees in toplane), exhaust (against Riven, Kled), heal (for adc or against Zed mid matchup, unless you take exhaust) or barrier.
When you're starting out, always take teleport, that'll make you get accustomed to playing Heimerdinger a bit faster, and is more forgiving when you, for example, die on a bad gank, waste mana or waste your turrets.
Start off with Doran's ring and 2 health pots, follow it up on first back with sapphire crystal and anything you can buy next to it (435 - amplifying, 350 - Dark Seal). Rush Lost Chapter into full Luden's echo, followed up by Sorcerer Shoes, Dark Seal (if you haven't bought one yet) and Oblivion orb (unless 2+ people already have mercs).
Your core items are finished, from this point on you'll have to decide which path should you take.
If your Dark Seal has 7+ stacks, finish mejais and buy a stopwatch. If you're just farming, but not necessarily dying, buy Needlessly Large Rod. Finishing Rabadon as soon as possible's your ticket to +15, so keep that in mind. Liandry, Rylai, Morello, and Rod of Ages are all inferior compared to rushing Rabadon 3rd item.
If you already finished Mejais, are at 10+ stacks, broke your stopwatch and don't have 3.6k, finish zhonyas. Outside of that, finish Rabadon.
If you didn't get mejai, get rabadon followed up by stopwatch, and zhonyas.
At one stage of the game, you'll be pretty unkillable, so finishing mejai's not always bad. Other than that, finish morello (if enemies have healing), go voidstaff (at least 2 people have 130+ mr), or go liandry (if you are just fed and there's no real tank on enemy team).
Your turrets are your lifeline. From day one of playing Heimer, you should worship your turrets as the almighty gods.
Your mana's scarce, don't waste it. Your cooldowns are long, and the speed of your spells is dreadful. Do not ever expect your E to stun the enemy.
Q - Always have at least 4 turrets ACTIVE at all times. You can have up to 6 turrets active at any moment (3 placed on the ground, 3 in inventory). You max it last.
W - Learn how to spread your W properly. Every missile charges 20% of your turret beams. Hitting 2 enemies with 1 rocket each deals more damage than hitting one enemy with 5 rockets. Use it to poke enemies through minions (after getting Lost Chapter). You max it first.
E - 1.5sc stun that never hits. The closer the target is, the sooner the projectile explodes. Unless you're 100% certain you'll hit the enemy on the max range of your E, and nobody will jump on you for the next 16+ seconds, use it, other than that leave it for defensive purposes. Excellent wave clear. Max second.
RQ - use in most team fights in later stages of the game. It has too much hp to be killed, and can single-handedly deny a big area from enemies to walk into. Doesn't count towards your active turret limit, has the same beam charges as other turrets. Also, the first shot from ulted turret almost NEVER hits a champion, that is a known bug.
RW - overall inferior to RQ and RE. Never use in team fights, your We'll mostly deal ~70% of your RW's damage. RQ is better in 1v1s.
RE - if you see 2+ enemies on top of each other, or you have to kill enemy carry, use RE into W to kill them out of their vision.
Mechanics you should learn over time are - proper turret placements according to your vision/position of enemy jungler/cannon wave, spreading your W, hitting your E and W with a delay so your turrets shoot their beams twice, baiting enemy champions into using resources to fight you, placing your turret mid-casts of spells to increase your DPS, objective stealing with the help of your turret beams and RE with W, knowing when to place turrets on cannon minion aggro, timing your E on enemy teleports/zhonyas from safe distance, when to use your zhonyas in teamfight and how to trade in middle of landing phase.
Keep in mind your turrets can shoot beams if you time your W or E and turret placement correctly, same with ulted turret.
Raise your dongers and if you're still having trouble playing Heimer, feel free to follow me on twitch and let us Pump Your Elo!